Holoxica, the specialist holographic 3D visualisation company, has secured €1.28million from the European Commission’s Horizon2020 SME Instrument, the largest ever EU Research and Innovation Funding Programme. The fund will assist the development of pioneering medical imaging technology using motion holographic video displays for faster interpretation of 3D scan images which will lead to better quality surgical procedures.
The EC’s Horizon2020 SME instrument - a €740M programme aimed to assist job creation and growth for SME businesses involved in cutting edge research and innovation - is keenly contested with 1000s of SMEs submitting applications to the fund from across the EU. Only the ‘best of the best’ proposals are offered funding. To date, only four companies in Scotland have received this award.
Holoxica will use the funding to build a prototype holographic video display for use in CT, MRI and Ultrasound volumetric scanning and as Javid Khan, founder and CEO of Holoxica, explains, the potential for this ground-breaking disruptive technology will be keenly anticipated by clinicians and surgeons and tap into a market for medical imaging 3D display which is set to be worth an estimated $4.3bn by 2020.
The concept behind the innovation is simple: 3D images should be viewed in 3D easily and comfortably. Current solutions to viewing 3D images using glasses or optical tricks are too clumsy and awkward. Holographic technology offers a solution to this problem.
“We see holographic video displays completely transforming the field of medical imaging. In recent years, there has certainly been improvements in the clarity and detail of datasets produced by Ultrasound, CT, PET and MRI scanners, but whilst these machines generate 3D volumetric imagery as a series of 2D ‘slices’ scanned through the body using radiation, we can present the scans as wholly 3D images via holographic volume displays.
The display essentially performs the inverse operation and converts radiation into a photonic representation, showing the 2D ‘slices’ as a series of light sheets suspended in free space.”
When built, the holographic video display will be tested in three pilot scenarios for medical teacher/training; diagnostics, review and monitoring of conditions and also for live surgery. Holoxica will carry out initial testing of the holographic video display prototype at Kings College, London; Guys and St Thomas’s Hospital, London and the Clinical Research Imaging Centre at the University of Edinburgh Medical School. Siemens Healthcare, the largest provider of medical equipment in Europe, is keen to trial the technology once it is ready for clinical use.
Holoxica is seeking further investment from Angels and Venture Capital funds to transform the prototype into a product that can be used in a clinical setting. The investment is required for further integration, engineering, user-interface software and full trials.
Holoxica’s R & D has revealed that holographic video display technology is capable of producing excellent results with large, bright images effectively ‘floating’ in mid-air without the need for cumbersome 3D glasses. The breakthrough innovation will meet an urgent demand from medical professionals for a 3D visualisation solution that can match the performance of scanning devices.
Horizon2020 funds researchers and innovators at the cutting edge of their research disciplines, working on the latest breakthroughs in technology. It supports projects across the cycle from research to innovation, using a range of financial instruments to facilitate their exploitation and access to markets.
Caroline Gray-Stephens of Scottish Enterprise’s Enterprise Europe Network team, said, “Holoxica’s success is remarkable given the fierce competition from businesses across Europe to access this funding, it’s great to see a Scottish company succeeding against some of the top European innovators.
“However, this is about more than just funding - Holoxica will also receive free business coaching as part of the package of support, and the Enterprise Europe Network team will be on hand to support the company as they commercialise their pioneering medical imaging technology.”